Falcons drop outing to Eagles

Published 3:20 pm Wednesday, March 23, 2011

WINDSOR – There’s an old saying in athletics that you don’t get better just sitting on the bench, you have to get into the game.

But once you get in the game you have to pay your dues to get better as.

That seems to be the case for the young Bertie High baseball squad which dropped their third Northeastern Coastal Conference game in a row Tuesday night at home, 15-1, to Northeastern in a game shortened to five innings.

The Falcons fell to 1-8 overall and 0-3 in the NCC.

A pair of ninth-grade right-handers shared mound duty for the Falcons and showed some potential. Adam Cowand got the start and was relieved by Javier Pagola in the third inning.

Even though the duo surrendered 15 runs on 15 hits, only nine of those runs were earned and they only walked five batters while striking out seven between them.

Cowand and Pagola also got the only two hits Bertie had for the game.

“Our problem all year,” said frustrated veteran BHS Head Coach Randy Whitaker, “is that we’re young and we’re making too many errors, but the errors we’re making are on routine plays.

“We’re at the point now where we have to start making those routine plays,” he added. “This is not the first game of the year.”

The coach on the other side understands Whitaker’s situation.

“Randy works hard with his kids,” said Northeastern coach Bruce Phillips, “and I’ve been in his position before. When you’ve got young pitchers you’re trying to build confidence.

“If you don’t make the plays behind a senior pitcher it hurts,” he added, “but it hurts a young pitcher even more. But they’ll get better; they’re competitive.”

The Eagles (3-2, 2-1, NCC) wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard in the first inning sending seven men to the plate and scoring four runs.

In the bottom of the first for Bertie, Cowand opened the game with a base hit and the Falcons eventually loaded the bases with two out, but came away empty.

Northeastern chased Cowand in the second inning, scoring six more times to take a 10-0 lead.

Pagola got a Bertie’s other base hit in the bottom of the inning and he relieved Cowand on the mound in the third and only gave up five runs and seven hits the rest of the way.

Bertie broke through in the bottom of the third inning.

Joseph Eure drew a one-out walk, stole second and eventually went to third on a pick-off throwing error by the catcher. Matthew Hoggard followed and though he struck out, he made it to first base on the third-strike wild pitch which also scored Eure.

But the Falcons bats were silent the rest of the way.

Northeastern scored in every inning, but the fifth en route to the 14-run win.

“A lot of things we’re trying to learn,” said Whitaker, “we’re learning on the run, but trying to get better by just picking up something and taking it on to the next game.”

Bertie stepped out of conference for a Wednesday game at Tarboro before hosting conference leader, Currituck, on Friday back at home.